Recent years have seen a resurgence of thought about the age-old topic of Christian engagement in the public square. This is true in the United States in particular, where a historically Judeo-Christian culture is rapidly shifting, church attendance is declining, and once largely shared civic convictions are deteriorating. The 2016 election added another wrinkle to the story, especially for conservative Christians who struggled to rethink political allegiances in light of new realities. All of these developments are necessitating new answers to old questions. Namely, how do Christians engage faithfully and prudently in a pluralistic—and at times, antagonistic—public square?
- Property/Wealth Allows you to be self-governing.
- Homestead Act, not Basic Income
- Value Added Sales Tax instead of Income Tax.
- Targeting Families with incomes 80,000-$200,000 for wealth accumulation (UPS Drivers, previously $150,000)
- Divorce Tax
- Require Schools to teach biblical literacy.
- Principle and Duty of Self Defense, Just/War (26 min)
- The Issue is not Populism, but Management Society and Selfie Man (30 min)
- Gay Marriage is the ultimate-one percent issue (R.R. Reno) (51 min)
- We should care most about the middle, not the bottom third. (R.R. Reno)
- We are in the midst of the 3rd Great Awakening without Religion: Guilt, Debt, Fault without a Religious Architecture. (56 min)
- We have a world with rights, but without a need for each other/responsibility
- The Freshman class at College realizes that something is wrong (1:07)
- Foolishness of those Evangelical Leaders who value Proximity to Power (Falwell, Tony Perkins, Franklin Graham)
- Black lives matters attacked the Democratic Party.
- Identity politics is a betrayal of Martin Luther King
- Slavery is the only Moral Claim. Africans are not one group among many.
- The African American Community has been decimated by Planned Parenthood, an organization that started out with a eugenics policies (Roe) (1:29)
Everybody agrees society is in a bad way, but what exactly is the main cause of the badness?
Some people emphasize economic issues’
People like me emphasize cultural issues. If you have 60 years of radical individualism and ruthless meritocracy, you’re going to end up with a society that is atomized, distrustful and divided.
Patrick Deneen .. new book, “Why Liberalism Failed,”
.. democracy has betrayed its promises.
- It was supposed to foster equality, but it has led to great inequality and a new aristocracy.
- It was supposed to give average people control over government, but average people feel alienated from government.
- It was supposed to foster liberty, but it creates a degraded popular culture in which consumers become slave to their appetites.
.. “Because we view humanity — and thus its institutions — as corrupt and selfish, the only person we can rely upon is our self. The only way we can avoid failure, being let down, and ultimately succumbing to the chaotic world around us, therefore, is to have the means (financial security) to rely only upon ourselves.”
.. Greek and medieval philosophies valued liberty, but they understood that before a person could help govern society, he had to be able to govern himself.
People had to be habituated in virtue by institutions they didn’t choose — family, religion, community, social norms.
.. Machiavelli and Locke, the men who founded our system made two fateful errors.
- First, they came to reject the classical and religious idea that people are political and relational creatures. Instead, they placed the autonomous, choosing individual at the center of their view of human nature.
- Furthermore, they decided you couldn’t base a system of government on something as unreliable as virtue. But you could base it on something low and steady like selfishness. You could pit interest against interest and create a stable machine. You didn’t have to worry about creating noble citizens; you could get by with rationally self-interested ones.
.. Liberalism claims to be neutral but it’s really anti-culture. It detaches people from nature, community, tradition and place. It detaches people from time. “Gratitude to the past and obligations to the future are replaced by a nearly universal pursuit of immediate gratification.”
.. Once family and local community erode and social norms dissolve, individuals are left naked and unprotected. They seek solace in the state. They toggle between impersonal systems: globalized capitalism and the distant state. As the social order decays, people grasp for the security of authoritarianism.
“A signal feature of modern totalitarianism was that it arose and came to power through the discontents of people’s isolation and loneliness,” he observes. He urges people to dedicate themselves instead to local community — a sort of Wendell Berry agrarianism.
.. Every time Deneen writes about virtue it tastes like castor oil — self-denial and joylessness.
.. Yes, liberalism sometimes sits in tension with faith, tradition, family and community, which Deneen rightly cherishes. But liberalism is not their murderer.